Choosing An Activity Tracker That’s Right For You

It’s no secret that tracking steps, counting calories, and setting goals are great for your health. And activity trackers are great motivators to set you in the right direction – but with a new gadget hitting the market everyday, how can one decide which is best? We’re breaking down the pros and cons to three of the biggest competitors in the health band marketplace to help you find the perfect fit.

It’s worth noting that no activity band is perfect. You’ll still have to manually input your calories, exercise sessions, weight, and daily bedtime. You’ll have to remember to wear the tracker every day, as well as charge it approximately once per week. And you’ll have to analyze all the data that’s presented in your dashboard to draw conclusions on your progress. But buying any activity tracker is a step in the right direction – and every step counts.

Perfect for: first-timers to the activity tracking game
Bonus: smart scale compatibility
Price: Fitbit Flex, $99.95

The Fitbit Flex is a simple yet purposeful fitness band that tracks your sleep as well as your steps, and allows you to set a noise-free vibrating alarm that won’t disturb your partner’s sleep schedule. With six different styles of activity trackers, Fitbit has a little something for everyone – and all of the brand’s gadgets are compatible with Aria, a wireless wifi-enabled smart scale that records your weight, BMI, lean mass, and body fat percentage for just $129.95.

For those who are looking for an upgrade, the $250 Surge Fitness Super Watch adds smart watch elements including music control and mobile notifications plus a heart rate monitor.


FitBit products come in a variety of colors and thanks to their partnership with Tory Burch, even the biggest fashionista can discreetly track her health.


Jawbone Up
Perfect for: those who have trouble sleeping
Bonus: trademarked sleep alarm
Price: Jawbone Up, $99.99

The Jawbone Up activity tracker was designed with better sleeping habits in mind. After all, rest is just as an important part of your health as your activity level. Their trademarked Silent Alarm analyzes your sleep patterns overnight and in lieu of a timed alarm, the bracelet gently vibrates at the most optimal moment in your sleep cycle. That means you’ll get out of bed feeling refreshed – but it’s best if you have a slightly flexible morning schedule.

The thee styles of Jawbone products come with a Smart Coach system that interprets the data in your dashboard and reminds you to make at least one healthy choice each day. That means you’ll learn the meaning behind the numbers, which is a nice push for those who don’t want to analyze their dashboard each day.  Those who upgrade to the Jawbone Up3 will find a heart rate monitor and workout recognition as well, but the upgrade comes with a price: $179.99.


Basis Peak
Perfect for: dedicated fitness buffs
Bonus: auto fitness and sleep detection
Price: Basis Peak, $199.99

The Basis Peak is called “the ultimate fitness and sleep tracker” and that’s no lie. For those who live an extremely athletic and busy lifestyle, this is the premier fitness accessory. It automatically detects sleeping, running, and biking so there’s no need to jump into you dashboard and log the exact time period in which you completed each exercise. It’s also the only band to automatically capture your sleep cycle – there’s no need to log your bedtime.

For just under $200, this activity tracker is quite advanced. Beyond tracking your heart rate, it has the ability to detect things like your skin temperature and perspiration. It’s also the only activity band for swimmers. While most bands can be worn in the shower, this one can be used for water sports. Unless you’re an elite athlete or fitness buff, you won’t need all these features. But the question is, don’t you want them?

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Aubre Andrus

Aubre Andrus

Aubre is a guest contributor to She also written for Mashable, Nat Geo Travel and many more.